Purigen

Kronnie

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norwich
Hi all,

i have purigen in two canister filters that are now coming up to 4 months old. I had a look last week to see the state of the pouches and they look a dark brown, i am thinking they need a clean. I am apprehensive about how is best to do this especially with the suggested route of using bleach.

I have what i consider a pretty good looking tank (although not perfect) and don't want to lose/damage what i have, any guidance would be appreciated,

Thanks
 

Wookii

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There are no doubt thousands of people using Purigen in their filters and regenerating it using a bleach solution without issue, so there really is nothing to worry about.

The key is to ensure you thoroughly complete the rinse in Prime loaded water afterwards, following the instructions - that will break down any bleach that remains after you’ve rinsed the majority away under the tap.

The biggest problem in the UK is actually finding bleach strong enough to recharge it properly. The Purigen instructions are based on US household bleach which is around 8% sodium hypochlorite in a 50:50 mix with water giving a 4% recharge solution. However ‘thin’ bleach in the UK (which is the only type free of thickening additives and perfumes) is only typically 1% sodium hypochlorite, so even used neat it’s not strong enough.

I personally buy concentrated solution from here:

https://apcpure.com/product/sodium-hypochlorite-12

And then mix that roughly 65:35 (I use cups to measure so one cup bleach, two cups water).

The process I use is as following:

1. Add the bleach and water to a small airtight sealable container and add the Purigen bags (rinsing them under the tap first to remove any muck).

2. Seal up the container and shake well.

3. Leave it for 24 hours, shaking again occasionally to keep the solution mixed.

4. Empty the container and rinse both it and the Purigen bags under the tap thoroughly.

5. Add water and the recommended dose of Prime to the container and add the bags back in and shake well.

6. Leave again for 24 hours shaking intermittently to keep it well mixed.

7. Empty the container and rinse everything under the tap thoroughly. Sniff the bags - if you can still smell any bleach (I never can) repeat the Prime rinse step.

8. Add back into your filter.
 

Wookii

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Have you seen it anywhere else? It looks really cheap but then they add on £8.95 for postage which means they charge you £12.90 for a litre. I can get 4 bottles of 5 litres on Amazon for £23 but I don’t need 4!

I haven't to be fair - I bought it with a big batch of EI salts from them - but you might be able to find some if you search 'Sodium Hypochlorite'.
 
Last edited:

Luketendo

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25 Feb 2008
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Australia
Don't make the same mistake as me and use bleach containing sodium hydroxide. Still has a swimming pool smell even after the prime and buffer rinses. I sourced pure bleach (1-10%) which fingers crossed will do the job.
 

JoshP12

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8 Dec 2019
Messages
474
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Canada
I use Seachem safe (in-lieu of prime) and take a 1/64 tsp (from my dosing that I have anyways) fill it about half and toss it in (during the dechlorinating phase)... does the trick.

Josh
 

RudeDogg1

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3 Sep 2010
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695
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Barnstaple, Devon
There are no doubt thousands of people using Purigen in their filters and regenerating it using a bleach solution without issue, so there really is nothing to worry about.

The key is to ensure you thoroughly complete the rinse in Prime loaded water afterwards, following the instructions - that will break down any bleach that remains after you’ve rinsed the majority away under the tap.

The biggest problem in the UK is actually finding bleach strong enough to recharge it properly. The Purigen instructions are based on US household bleach which is around 8% sodium hypochlorite in a 50:50 mix with water giving a 4% recharge solution. However ‘thin’ bleach in the UK (which is the only type free of thickening additives and perfumes) is only typically 1% sodium hypochlorite, so even used neat it’s not strong enough.

I personally buy concentrated solution from here:

https://apcpure.com/product/sodium-hypochlorite-12

And then mix that roughly 65:35 (I use cups to measure so one cup bleach, two cups water).

The process I use is as following:

1. Add the bleach and water to a small airtight sealable container and add the Purigen bags (rinsing them under the tap first to remove any muck).

2. Seal up the container and shake well.

3. Leave it for 24 hours, shaking again occasionally to keep the solution mixed.

4. Empty the container and rinse both it and the Purigen bags under the tap thoroughly.

5. Add water and the recommended dose of Prime to the container and add the bags back in and shake well.

6. Leave again for 24 hours shaking intermittently to keep it well mixed.

7. Empty the container and rinse everything under the tap thoroughly. Sniff the bags - if you can still smell any bleach (I never can) repeat the Prime rinse step.

8. Add back into your filter.

I’m in the uk and never had a prob just using cheap thin bleach
 

Wookii

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I’m in the uk and never had a prob just using cheap thin bleach

Perhaps you have access to stronger stuff. The supermarket thin bleach I have access to is only 1% hypochlorite and even used neat it's not strong enough to bring the Purigen back to white, which mean its not stripping all of the organics from it.
 

RudeDogg1

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Was just no thrills stuff from Tesco or wilkos I’d just leave it in there for 24 hours and it would be back to white. What I am curious about tho would a Sodium Thiosulphate solution work just as well as prime seeing as it’s essentially the same thing
 

Wookii

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Was just no thrills stuff from Tesco or wilkos I’d just leave it in there for 24 hours and it would be back to white. What I am curious about tho would a Sodium Thiosulphate solution work just as well as prime seeing as it’s essentially the same thing

Well I guess it's a YMMV situation then, as Tesco thin bleach have never brought it white for me - light brown is about the best it can do.

Sodium Thiosulphate is just a dechlorinator, so whilst it probably couldn't replace Prime for tap water treatment, for getting rid of bleach after a Purigen recharge, I guess in theory it should work fine, but I'd check with Seachem before using it to be safe - they have been pretty response when I've sent them enquiries in the past.
 

chrisfraser05

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I'll be honest, i used the Tesco 19p thin bleach with prime for about 6 years on my marine tank and it would always go back to white after 12/24 hours.

I'd just rinse and soak in a strong prime solution after then back in the sump.
 

Luketendo

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Well I guess it's a YMMV situation then, as Tesco thin bleach have never brought it white for me - light brown is about the best it can do.

Sodium Thiosulphate is just a dechlorinator, so whilst it probably couldn't replace Prime for tap water treatment, for getting rid of bleach after a Purigen recharge, I guess in theory it should work fine, but I'd check with Seachem before using it to be safe - they have been pretty response when I've sent them enquiries in the past.

Not sure if you tried but repeated soaks in new bleach of low strength would eventually get it there I would think.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Ten recharges is the most I’ve seen out of purigen before it stays brown. Using Tesco thin bleach:

1601335785228.jpeg


Following this procedure it’s always came back good -

Rinsing the purigen thoroughly under the tap.

Soaking in pure bleach (just 1% concentration Sodium Hypochlorite) for an hour (poking it with a wooden stick like a barbecue skewer regularly)

Rinse again under tap

Place in a solution of 50% bleach to 50% RO/distilled water for 24 hours

Rinse under tap and soak in adequate amount of prime and RO/distilled water

Also if you can: place in sun in a jug whilst in prime/water solution gets it whiter. If you run a dehumidifier in your house the water collection is useful for this instead of costly RO/distilled water.

If you can get hold of higher concentrations of bleach then no doubt it will speed up the process and break down the organics, but 25 hours of exposure time to a lower concentration using this method had worked just fine here @Wookii
 

three-fingers

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I also use Tescos thin bleach for recharging Purigen and it goes white, I think I maybe get 5-10 recharges before it's permenantly stained light brown and I change it.

I soak in bleach for 24h then rinse it under that tap and leave it in some DI/RO water for another 24h with some dry sodium thiosulfate crystals haphazardly sprinkled on top, then store in a big mason jar with DI/RO until I'm cleaning an external filter again, every 1-3 months for the messy goldfish tank depending on how much aquarium time I have in my life at the time.

After doing this for years I've never had any adverse reaction from the fish/shrimp and the Purigen always works well to remove tannins and presumably other organics from the water.
 

Wookii

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If you can get hold of higher concentrations of bleach then no doubt it will speed up the process and break down the organics, but 25 hours of exposure time to a lower concentration using this method had worked just fine here @Wookii

Fair play then guys, if so many of you are using the Tesco value stuff just fine, who am I to argue. I've just seen from my own usage that my sachets don't come nearly as white as with the 1% bleach as they do with the full strength recommend by Seachem - even with multiple 24 hour soakings with the 1% stuff. I assume there must also be a reason why Seachem's instructions state a 50:50 mix of water and 8.35% (American household) bleach, rather than 7:1? (Unless its just to try and sell more Prime:D)
 

RudeDogg1

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Fair play then guys, if so many of you are using the Tesco value stuff just fine, who am I to argue. I've just seen from my own usage that my sachets don't come nearly as white as with the 1% bleach as they do with the full strength recommend by Seachem - even with multiple 24 hour soakings with the 1% stuff. I assume there must also be a reason why Seachem's instructions state a 50:50 mix of water and 8.35% (American household) bleach, rather than 7:1? (Unless its just to try and sell more Prime:D)

I’m pretty sure I used to just use the bleach neat
 

Lunar Jetman

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23 Jul 2012
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Can Purigen be left to dry out and then bleached? If you let it dry out for any reason will this impact it in any way?
 

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